Legendary Pokémon

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An artist's interpretation of Entei, a legendary Pokémon

Legendary Pokémon are a group of extremely rare and powerful Pokémon. In the Japanese version, there are three distinct terms used to refer to those Pokémon which are collectively called legendary in English. One, 伝説のポケモン (densetsu no Pokémon, lit. Pokémon of legend), refers to those which are featured prominently in legends, such as Groudon and Kyogre. The second, 幻のポケモン (maboroshi no Pokémon, lit. Pokémon of illusions, translated as mirage Pokémon in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl), refers to those so rarely seen that some question their very existence, such as Mew and Lugia; an alternative definition restricts it only to Pokémon not available in normal gameplay. The third is 神話のポケモン (shinwa no Pokémon, lit. Pokémon of myth), which is a term applied to some of the legendary Pokémon of Sinnoh.

In the games, the player typically has only one chance to capture a legendary Pokémon. They are genderless, with the exception of Latios, Latias, Heatran and Cresselia. With the exception of Phione and Manaphy, they cannot breed, and, for similar reasons, they are often banned from competitions. They are statistically some of the most powerful Pokémon in the game. They never evolve, and many are one third of a legendary trio.

In the anime, legendary Pokémon are held in generally higher regard than they are in the games. They appear only to special trainers (usually the case of Ash Ketchum), and their capture can lead to the destruction of the world. As seen with Lugia, some can breed; as seen with Celebi, they are neither immortal nor invincible; and they are often not unique.

Very few people have actually seen legendary Pokémon. Because of their rarity, they are sought after by trainers and collectors, especially Team Rocket.

List of legendary Pokémon

There are 36 Pokémon considered to be legendary Pokémon, and there are several more with certain characteristics of Legendary Pokémon.

Generation I

The legendary Pokémon of Generation I can be broken into two groups: the Legendary Birds and the Mew-based legendary Pokémon.

Legendary birds

An ancient slab of the Legendary Birds and an Arcanine seen in Pokémon Emergency. Ash identified the blue one as Ho-Oh, possibly by mistake.

There are three Legendary Birds, also referred to as winged mirages. As shown in the second movie, should the three birds come in contact with one another, they will fight over territory, and, left unabated, their battles will ultimately cause the end of the world. They represent nature's balance and are tied to Lugia. One of each was seen in the Orange Islands. In Pokémon Snap, it was shown that the Legendary Birds could breed, as the player could hatch them from eggs around Pokémon Island by introducing the eggs to their corresponding element.

Mew and Mewtwo

  • Mew is the Psychic feline Pokémon of ancient legend. It is not obtainable by normal means in any game; however, a glitch allows the player to battle and capture Mew in Generation I. In Emerald Version, a Nintendo event gave out the Old Sea Map that would take the player to Faraway Island, where Mew could be caught. It is said to be able to live forever. The DNA of all Pokémon can be traced back to Mew, and thus it represents the origin of life. The bubbly Mew was first seen in the first movie, and later in the special Mewtwo Returns. Another is seen in the eighth movie.
  • Mewtwo is a genetically altered clone of Mew. It can be found in the Cerulean Cave in the Generation I games and their remakes. It was statistically the most powerful Pokémon until Generation II. It is also one of the most intelligent, and can communicate freely with humans using telepathy. It is the main character of the first movie, and the Mewtwo Returns and The Birth of Mewtwo specials. After the events of Mewtwo Returns, it is portrayed as taking the cover of night and living amongst humans in big cities.

Generation II

Generation II featured the advent of three new groups of legendary Pokémon, consisting of a total of six.

Legendary beasts

The Legendary Beasts have variously been referred to as Legendary Dogs or Cats, but Beasts is the accepted neutral title. These speedy, powerful creatures were created by Ho-oh after the burning of Brass Tower. Because they are unable to restrain their extreme power, they race headlong around the land. They can be found racing around the Johto region in the Generation II games. One can also be found roaming Kanto, after the player gets the National Dex, in Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, depending on the Starter Pokémon the user chooses at the beginning of the game. In Pokémon Colosseum, it is possible to snag all three legendary beasts.

  • Raikou is the embodiment of thunder. It appears in Kanto in FireRed and LeafGreen if the player started off with Squirtle. Raikou was twice seen in the Johto region. It was briefly seen in the episode Houndoom's Special Delivery, and also in the The Legend of Thunder! special.
  • Entei is the embodiment of volcanoes. According to legend, one is born every time a new volcano appears. It appears in Kanto in FireRed and LeafGreen if the player started off with Bulbasaur. An Entei was seen in the Johto region, in the episode Entei at Your Own Risk. A telepathic Entei was featured in the third movie, but it was only a manifestation of Molly Hale's imagination, created by the Unown. An Entei is formed from a statue in Fiore when you reach the Jungle Relic.
  • Suicune is the embodiment of the North Wind. It is the Pokémon sought by Eusine in Pokémon Crystal, and is released upon the completion of the Burned Tower storyline in the Generation II games. It appears in Kanto in FireRed and LeafGreen if the player started off with Charmander. Ash encountered one at the beginning of the Johto story arc, in Don't Touch That 'Dile, again in For Ho-oh the Bells Toll, and made a brief appearance in the fourth movie. It is closely tied with Ho-Oh and the Unown.

Lugia and Ho-Oh

These two additional birds of legend are thought to be closely related, although they are also polar opposites. Ho-Oh is based on the Chinese phoenix, or Fènghuáng and Lugia on the Japanese sea-kami Ryūjin.

  • Ho-Oh is the Guardian of the Skies. This Pokémon is represented by the sun, the sky, rainbows, the color gold, and awakening. It is said to glow in seven colors and see into the future. It resides at the top of the Tin Tower in the Generation II games. In Pokémon FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald, Ho-Oh is found atop Navel Rock. Ho-Oh is often seen at the beginning of a new journey, which happened to Ash twice. The spirit of Ho-Oh represents the Johto League. Ho-Oh is the guardian of the Legendary Beasts, and it is especially close to Suicune.
  • Lugia is the Guardian of the Sea. It is represented by the moon, the sea, the color silver, and slumber. Lugia can be found in Whirl Islands in the Generation II games. In Pokémon FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald, Lugia is found beneath Navel Rock. A Shadow Lugia resides in the Orre region in Pokémon XD. Lugia protects the balance of nature, and is the only creature that can pacify the battling Legendary Birds. One was seen in the second movie. Two more, a mother and a child, were seen near Silver Rock Isle at the beginning of the Whirl Cup arc of the anime. Lugia is the guardian of the Legendary Birds.


Although it has no relation to Mew, Celebi was dubbed the "New Mew" because of its similar size, shape, stats, and National Dex number. Because of this, it is commonly listed with Mew (and later Jirachi, Phione, and Manaphy) in lists of legendary Pokémon.

  • Celebi is a forest guardian Pokémon that can travel through time. It is the star of the fourth movie and was obtainable in the Japanese version of Pokémon Crystal via the now-discontinued Mobile System GB service. On the Japanese Bonus Disk for Pokémon Colosseum, Celebi was a direct download to Generation III cartridges. During Pokémon 10th Aniversary: Journey Across America, Celebi was downloadable on US Generation III cartridges. Celebi, when obtainable, is found in Ilex Forest by bringing the GS Ball to the Forest Shrine.

Generation III

The Generation III games feature a total of 10 new Legendaries.

Legendary Regis

The legendary Golem-like Regis were featured in the eighth movie as the protectors of the Tree of World's Beginning, but the true story of their history remains a mystery. They have a strong connection to the fourth Regi and their keeper, Regigigas.

Eon Pokémon

Statues of Latios and Latias in Alto Mare
Latios and Latias (sometimes referred to, collectively, as [email protected]) are twin Dragons (one male, one female) featured in the fifth movie. Both can take the shape of humans. According to legend, they guard the water city of Alto Mare, and are revered as gods. They have a strong connection with the Template:I.
  • Latias is found in the wild after defeating the Elite Four in Pokémon Sapphire. It changes routes whenever the player does, and is considered as rare as the Legendary Beasts in Generation II. It can also be obtained in Pokémon Ruby by using the Template:I obtained from Nintendo Power. In Pokémon Emerald, when his/her mom asks about a TV program after the Elite Four, it appears as in Sapphire if the player chooses Red, and as in Ruby if the player chooses Blue.
  • Latios is found in the wild after defeating the Elite Four in Pokémon Ruby. It is considered as rare as the Legendary Beasts in Generation II due to the similar route-changing activities that it shares with them and Latias. It can also be obtained in Pokémon Sapphire by using the Eon Ticket obtained from Nintendo Power. In Pokémon Emerald, when his/her mom asks about a TV program after the Elite Four, it appears as in Ruby if the player chooses Blue, and as in Sapphire if the player chooses Red.

Super-ancient Pokémon

File:GenIII Battle.jpg
A depiction of the cataclysmic battle between Groudon, Kyogre and Rayquaza

The weather-related legendary Pokémon represent the balance of nature and play a major role in the storyline of the Hoenn-based Generation III games. It is said that, at the beginning of time, Groudon raised lands and expanded continents as Kyogre expanded the seas. These Pokémon took to sleep after a cataclysmic battle, soothed by Rayquaza.

They are based on the behemoth, leviathan, and ziz of Hebrew legend.

Other legendary Pokémon

  • Jirachi is the legendary wish-granting Pokémon who was available from Pokémon Colosseum's bonus disk in North America and available within Pokémon Channel in the UK, Europe and Australia (PAL Encoded Regions). It is likened to Mew and Celebi. Jirachi is the star of the sixth movie.
  • Deoxys is a Pokémon with strange alien and virus-like characteristics. It changes its form depending on the game version in which it is found. The Template:I used to obtain Deoxys has been given out in North America at the New York Pokémon Center and 2004's Pokémon Rocks America events. Two different Deoxys were featured in the seventh movie, while a third was featured in AG171.

Generation IV

The Generation IV games feature a total of 14 Legendary Pokémon, the most of any generation.

Lake trio

Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf together

Fairy-like creatures that each dwell in a trio of three lakes. Birthed from Arceus, each represents a different aspect of the human mind.

Legendary dragons

These two Pokémon were the mascots for Diamond and Pearl, and have the ability to warp the fabric of reality. Birthed from Arceus, they battle for all of eternity in a different dimension. Both were featured in the tenth movie.

Depending on the game version, Team Galactic will try to gain control of one using the power of the lake trio. Their goal is to use their power to destroy the universe and rebuild it with Cyrus as a god.

Sea Pokémon

  • Manaphy is referred to as the "Prince of the Sea." It must be hatched from an egg and has the power to swap the hearts of people and Pokémon, putting them into different bodies. It was featured in the ninth movie.
  • Phione is the result of breeding Manaphy with a Ditto. It is a relative species of Manaphy that prefers warmer waters, and lacks Manaphy's ability to perform Heart Swap.

Lunar Pokémon

Based on the crescent and new moon, these two Pokémon seem to be complementary of one another. Cresselia can cure the permanent nightmares that Darkrai causes people to suffer.

  • Cresselia resembles the crescent moon. It seems to bring peaceful dreams. It can be found roaming Sinnoh after it is first encountered on Fullmoon Island.
  • Darkrai can induce sleep and control dreams. It is active during nights with no moon, and can cause its victims to thrash about with terrible nightmares. It can be found on Newmoon Island if the player has a Template:I. It was featured in the tenth movie, along with the legendary dragons.

Other legendary Pokémon

  • Giratina is the Renegade Pokémon that lives in the spirit world. It is found in the ancient cemetery Turnback Cave.
  • Heatran is a Fire/Steel-type Pokémon that can be found in Stark Mountain.
  • Regigigas is the Normal-type Regi that can be found only when the three other Regis are reunited. It is said that it moved the continents into place by pulling them on a rope. It will be featured in the eleventh movie.
  • Shaymin is the Gratitude Pokémon that curls up in flower-beds and often goes unnoticed. It has the ability to instantly purify an area of all pollutants and transform it into a flowery field.
  • Arceus is the creation Pokémon said to have been born from an egg into nothingness. It created matter (time and space) and spirit (knowledge, emotion and will) before falling into eternal slumber. It can be awoken by playing the Azure Flute at the peak of Mt. Coronet.

Pokémon with legendary characteristics

  • Arcanine's species classification is Legendary.
  • The Dratini family, especially Dragonite, is so rare and powerful it is often mentioned in lists of Legendary Pokémon. It is also based on mythical European dragons.
  • Rapidash may possibly have "Legendary" status, as it was seen in the first opening running along with Arcanine, the "Legendary" Pokémon, and the Legendary Birds. This may be because, like many legendary Pokémon, it is based on a mythical creature, the unicorn.
  • In the world of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Ninetales is considered a Legendary Pokémon due to it being elusive, incredibly long-lived, and posessing the ability to cast powerful curses against anyone that touches its tails.
  • Unown are a mysterious species of Pokémon based on the Latin alphabet. Professor Oak referred to them as Legendary, probably because they were featured heavily in ancient myths and legends and because they can display large amounts of otherworldly power in swarms. Also, like legendaries, they cannot breed.
  • Lucario and its master Sir Aaron were forever revered because of their help pacifying an ancient battle, as seen in the eighth movie. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, a Lucario was regarded as a legendary Rescue Team Leader in the distant past, and "Lucario Rank" is the highest attainable team rank in the game.
  • Ancient Pokémon, such as Aerodactyl, Kabuto and Omanyte are extinct and therefore are among myth. Although it is not extinct, Relicanth is sometimes considered an ancient Pokémon since it has survived unchanged since ancient times.

Myths and legends involving legendary Pokémon

Towers in Ecruteak

There's a legend that has been passed down by Ecruteak City Gym Leaders for many years:

Two towers... Two Pokémon... But when one burned down, both Pokémon flew away, never to return.

700 years before Generation II, the people of Ecruteak built two nine-tier towers with the hopes of fostering friendship and hope between Pokémon and humans. They were the Brass Tower in the east, which was said to awaken Pokémon, and the Tin Tower in the west, where Pokémon were said to rest. Both towers became the roost of powerful flying Pokémon: Ho-Oh and Lugia.

However, about 150 years before the games' events, a lightning bolt struck the Brass Tower. It was engulfed in flames that raged for three days. A sudden downpour finally put out the blaze, but it had already burnt to the ground. Three nameless Pokémon perished in the fire. But Ho-Oh descended from the sky and resurrected them. The Pokémon are said to embody three powers: the lightning that struck the tower, the fire that burned the tower, and the rain that put out the fire. When the Pokémon appeared, they struck terror in those who saw their rise. The three Pokémon, knowing their own power, fled, running like the wind off into the grassland.

Ho-Oh and Lugia haven't been seen since the fire. According to legend, when the souls of Pokémon and humans commune, upon the emergence of a trainer who has the ability to touch the souls of Pokémon, Ho-Oh will return from the heavens.

A similar legend is addressed in the anime. In A Ghost of a Chance, Morty says the two towers are the original Tin Tower, which burned down, and a rebuilt one. He says that invaders came and tried to steal Ho-Oh, who resisted and fled, and then they burned down the tower. When the legend is revisited in For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll, however, the story more closely parallels the game version, but the war aspect remains. Ash Ketchum seems to fulfill the prophecy as a trainer who has the ability to touch the souls of Pokémon, as he has often encountered both Ho-Oh and Suicune.

Ruins of Alph

Main article: Ruins of Alph

The Ruins of Alph provide a link to an ancient civilization. Although no one knows exactly who build them, research indicates that the ruins are from about 1500 years ago. Along the walls is an ancient language based on the shapes of the various Unown. In Pokémon Crystal, an ancient message can be found and decoded if the player can correctly perform certain tasks:

Our words shall remain here for the ages
Thus we shall erect a Pokémon statue outside
They possess great insight and refuse the outside world
We humans must learn to walk in harmony with them
We depart for their sakes

The message appears to be from the ancients in regard to the Unown.

Legend of the Regis

In addition to the Unown, Braille has also been used to tell legends. In Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald, the player can use the Braille to uncover Regirock, Regice, and Registeel.

The legend, found on various rocks in the Sealed Chamber, reads:

In this cave we have lived.
We owe all to the Pokémon.
But, we sealed the Pokémon away.
We feared it.
Those with courage, those with hope.
Open a door. An eternal Pokémon waits.

The legend may be referring to the individual Regis, or perhaps, as it uses the word "it" rather than "them", to Regigigas.


A Gengar and Alakazam, both of gigantic proportions, fought and destroyed the ancient civilization of Pokémopolis, where humans built temples to honor Pokémon. In the episode The Ancient Puzzle of Pokémopolis, Ash and friends discovered the ancient city, and inadvertently awoke the dueling Pokémon. The giant Pokémon, which might have gone on to destroy the world, were put to sleep by a giant singing Jigglypuff.

The legend reads:

Beware the two great Powers of Destruction. The Shadow of the Dark Device will grapple with the prisoner of the Unearthly Urn. The Sacred City will be no more as day is swallowed up by night. Darker still for you when they return to lay waste the world. But no human knows the secret to soothe the power and guide them back to the Shadow World.

Shamouti Island

An ancient prophecy circulates around the Orange Islands that says:

Disturb not the harmony of Fire, Ice, or Lightning
Lest these Titans wreak destruction
Upon the world in which they clash
Though the Water's Great Guardian shall arise to quell the fighting
Alone its song will fail
Thus the earth shall turn to Ash
O Chosen One
Into thine hands bring together all three
Their treasures combined tame the Beast of The Sea
From the trio of islands, ancient spheres shall you take
For between life and death, all the difference you'll make
Climb to the shrine to right what is wrong
And the world shall be healed by the Guardian's song...

A festival is held on Shamouti Island to honor the Chosen One.

The Guardians of the Water Capital

The island city of Alto Mare's history is intertwined with the following tale:

Japanese English
昔々、アルトマーレという島におじいさんとおばあさんがいました。 A long time ago on an island called Alto Mare there lived an old man and a woman.
ある日、二人は海岸で、小さな兄弟がけがをしているのを見つけました。 One day, they found two wounded children on the seaside.
おじいさんとおばあさんの手厚い看護で二人がみるみる良くなっていきました。 With the old couple's careful nursing, the children got better quickly.
しかし突然、邪悪な怪物が島を攻めてきたのです。 But then suddenly an evil monster appeared and attacked the city.
島はたちまち怪物に飲み込まれました。 The island was instantly swallowed up by the monster.
と、その時、おじいさんとおばあさんの目の前で二人の姿は変わっていきました。 But then before the man's and the woman's eyes, the children transformed.
二人は夢幻ポケモン、ラティオスとラティアスだったのです。 They were the mirage Pokémon Latias and Latios.
二匹は空から仲間を呼び寄せました。 The two of them called their friends from the sky.
彼らは、邪悪な闇を追い払う力を持って来てくれました。 They brought the power to drive away the evil darkness.
それは、「心のしずく」という宝石だったのです。 That power was a jewel called the Soul Dew.
島には平和が戻りました。 Peace returned to the island.
それからというもの、「心のしずく」のあるこの島に、ラティオスとラティアスはしばしば立ち寄るようになりました。 And after that, Latias and Latios often visited this island, where the Soul Dew is.
この島が邪悪な怪物に襲われる事はその後、二度とありませんでした。 The island was never attacked again by the evil monster.

Note: The legend sequence was cut from the dub version of the movie, so there is no official English translation.

Sinnoh myths

Main article: Sinnoh myths

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